How to prevent pests on indoor plants?

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Houseplant pests reduce decorativeness and destroy pets. Some of their species are quite aggressive: they gnaw at the roots, feed on the stems, and suck out the juice of the leaves. Other insects undermine the roots, leave plaque and simply spoil the appearance of flowers. In any case, How to prevent pests on indoor plants? The most effective control and houseplant pest prevention measures are compliance with growing conditions and proper care of flowers.

how to prevent pests on indoor plants

Types of pests of indoor plants

Among the types of pests of indoor plants, those who live in the soil are distinguished, and those who settle on the plants themselves. Soil worms and insects harm the roots, gnaw the stems and leaves. Pests on the plants themselves damage the leaves by eating them and sucking out the sap. Depending on where the pest is located, methods of control and prevention are selected.

Pests in the soil of indoor plantsPests on the houseplants themselves
PuffsSpider mite
NematodesAphid
EarthwormMealybug
EarwigWhitefly
CentipedeShields, false shields
Soil fliesThrips
 Caterpillars
 Slugs

How to prevent pests on indoor plants?

First of all, you need to try to avoid the appearance of pests in the soil and on the houseplants themselves. Therefore, to combat indoor pests, be sure to use timely preventive measures:

  • regular inspection,
  • compliance with the regime of watering and lighting,
  • timely transplantation into high-quality soil,
  • fresh air access,
  • avoidance of overcrowding of plants.

These simple rules will help to avoid the appearance of pests of indoor plants.

Prevention of indoor pests begins with the purchase of flowers. Buy only healthy plants, be sure to quarantine the new plant, no matter how healthy it seems. Remember that at first the pests may not be visible, and if they get into the home, they can begin to multiply.

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houseplant pest prevention in the soil of indoor plants

The reasons for the appearance and dispersal of soil pests of indoor plants are the use of untreated soils and overflow of flowers.

For the prevention of indoor pests in the ground, it is recommended:

  • use soil of proven quality in home floriculture,
  • carry out thermal or chemical treatment of the soil mixture when it is prepared on its own,
  • observe the watering regime.

Podura in houseplants

Very small white insects jumping on the soil surface. They do not bring any particular harm to plants. But with an increase in the population, they pass into the stage of active reproduction, and then they become a problem.

Measures to combat podura:

  1. reduce watering,
  2. change the soil to less moisture-consuming,
  3. apply bottom watering,
  4. Use chemicals.

Nematoda in indoor plants

Roundworms that live in the roots of plants, leaves and stems. It’s hard to fight.

  • With a root nematode, the root endings acquire a swollen appearance, and yellow galls are formed.
  • The roots cease to feed the plant, and it dies.

The process is slow and slow, and the plant can maintain a healthy appearance, and then dies abruptly. 

Nematode control measures:

  1. Isolate the affected plant from others and destroy it along with the soil.
  2. You can shed the soil with special means.
  3. Carry out heat treatment of the soil.

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Earthworm in indoor plants

Can get into indoor plants along with untreated soil.

  • Damages roots, which can kill the plant.
  • There is also a positive point – it recycles the soil, improves its organic properties.
  • But in the small space of the pot, the earthworm begins to undermine the roots of the plant. 

Control measures:

  1. Watering with hot water with a weak pale pink solution of potassium permanganate.
  2. Manual picking at transfer.

Earwig in indoor plants

The most unpleasant guest settling in houseplants.

  • It usually gets caught in outdoor conditions.
  • It feeds on all parts of plants.

Earwig control measures:

  1. baits with drugs,
  2. processing with insecticide according to the instructions.

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Centipede in indoor plants

It has an unpleasant appearance, a thin long body and many legs.

  • Damage to roots, interfere with root growth.
  • They also feed on soil flies.

Centipede control measures:

  1. drying the soil,
  2. manual collection,
  3. use of baits,
  4. soil treatment with preparations,
  5. spilling soil with solutions Insecticide Fertilizers according to the instructions with mandatory repetition.

Soil flies in houseplants

Soil (flower) flies, mushroom gnats, sciarids are small flying insects that live in the upper soil layer of a houseplant.

  • Spread infection among plants, love moisture.
  • The larvae eat up organic residues of the soil; if there is a lack of food, they can eat up the roots and stems of plants.

Soil fly control measures:

  • replace the top of the soil,
  • sprinkle with sand
  • forget about watering from above for 2 weeks,
  • pour into the pallet.
  • From chemical preparations, it is possible to add the preparation product containg diazinon to the soil.

During this time, midge larvae will dry out and will no longer appear. In the future, avoid excessive watering.

houseplant pest prevention

Of the indoor pests that live on the plants themselves and infect leaves and stems, the most common and dangerous are various types of aphids, spider mites, thrips, whiteflies and mealybugs. The most effective measures for controlling and preventing harmful insects will be regular spraying, washing, warm showers and spatial isolation.

houseplant pest prevention

A regular warm shower is especially helpful for plants such as:

  • aroid,
  • orchid,
  • ficuses,
  • kutrovye,
  • arrowroot crotons,
  • dracaena,
  • ferns,
  • palm trees.

Spider mite on indoor plants

A common pest of indoor plants. Lives on leaves (their reverse side), usually goes unnoticed for a long time.

  • It multiplies rapidly under dry air and high temperature conditions.
  • The leaves are covered with a cobweb and become, as it were, punctured, specks appear.
  • A severely neglected plant has a gray color, the leaves fall off and the plant gradually withers and dies.

Measures to combat spider mites and aphids in indoor conditions are the same (see below). The main thing is to create uncomfortable conditions for the tick:

  1. high humidity
  2. spray the underside of the leaf,
  3. observe the spatial isolation of plants.

Aphids on indoor plants

Slow crawling insects of green and gray color.

  • They feed on leaf juices, so they curl and dry out.
  • Aphids live in colonies and constantly multiply.
  • They spread a viral disease, the leaves mutate and lose their original color.

Aphids are especially fond of:

  • indoor roses,
  • chrysanthemums,
  • fuchsia,
  • arrowroot,
  • ficuses,
  • palm,
  • crotons and other plant species.

Control measures for aphids (and with spider mites):

  1. create a humid atmosphere,
  2. periodically arrange a warm shower with the obligatory washing of the underside of the leaves,
  3. regularly use tablets in the Iskra Zolotaya soil throughout the year.

If you follow preventive measures , then the risk of aphids and spider mites is reduced.

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Thrips on indoor plants

The most dangerous type of pest of indoor plants.

  • They develop very quickly and are difficult to remove.
  • On the underside of the leaf, pitted, silvery passages, sticky dark discharge and blotches appear. 

Thrips control measures:

  1. A warm shower and regular spraying will help,
  2. Rubbing the sheets with a weak solution of vinegar or citric acid,
  3. Treatment and watering with “Intavir-M”
  4. With a strong multiplication of thrips, a complete replacement of the soil is required

Shields and false shields on indoor plants

They are leathery growths ranging in size from 1 to 7 mm brown.

  • They settle on the leaves and stems of plants.
  • In places of damage, the leaves turn yellow, the plant dies due to a constant lack of nutrition.

Measures to combat scale insects:

  1. An effective control measure is the use of insecticides
  2. With a strong spread of the pest, a complete replacement of the soil may be necessary.
  3. For prevention, quarantine of new plants, regular spraying and a monthly warm shower are required.

Mealybugs on houseplants

Insects are white, covered with a powdery waxy coating.

  • They live on the underside of leaves, on stems.
  • When they multiply, white cotton-like eggs are found in the leaf axils.
  • They spread a sooty fungus that strongly poisons plants.

Scabbards , worms are easily removed when using insecticidal preparations.

Whitefly on indoor plants

The most dangerous pest of indoor plants. Small insect from 2 mm in length, yellowish in color and with two pairs of white wings. It reproduces actively all year round.

It affects almost all plants, but is especially susceptible to

  • fuchsia,
  • royal pelargoniums,
  • abutilones.

The fight against whitefly is extremely difficult and you cannot do without the use of chemicals.

Control measures:

  1. at the initial stage, you can catch them with yellow sticky traps.

Caterpillars, slugs on houseplants

Mostly garden ones they come from street plants and soil. Leaves and flowers are eaten.
The fight against them is carried out with the help of manual collection, dusting with ash, set traps with adhesive tape.

Folk remedies for houseplant pest prevention

  1. Spilling the soil with a weak pale pink solution of potassium permanganate.
  2. Grind dandelion leaves together with 50 g roots, pour 1 liter of water, and insist during the day, strain and spray with whitefly.
  3. Leaves and flowers of celandine, yarrow, marigold. Infusions and decoctions help in the form of spraying on the leaf with aphids, spider mites.
  4. Spraying on the leaf with garlic infusion. Grind 50-100 g of garlic, insist for 3 days, dilute with 0.5-1.0 liters of water.
  5. Processing leaves with soapy water using laundry soap and any dishwashing detergent such as “Fairy”, shampoo for animals. Allow to dry, then rinse with warm water;
  6. Dilute colloidal sulfur 5 g per 1 liter of water, spray the foliage. Helps with spider mitesmealybugs, scale insects, and powdery mildew.   Carry out processing with caution, be sure to wear a protective mask and gloves, and only in the fresh air and in calm weather;
  7. Dusting with smoking tobaccoashcinnamon.

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